Add Your Piece of History… 19th July

19 Jul
  • On this day in 1916.  The night of the 19th of July 1916 is sometimes referred to as Australia’s “worst day in history”.  This is the day the nation lost almost 2000 men in a single night, during World War I.   The Battle of Fromelles was the first significant battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front.  It begun 19 days after the Battle of the Somme began, the main purpose of the Fromelles was to draw German troops away from being redeployed to the Somme from areas of the Western Front where less fighting was taking place.  The main battle commenced with an attack at 6:00pm by troops of the 5th Australian and 61st British Divisions.  The Australian troops were to attack from the north, from a point known as the ‘Sugarloaf’ while the British were to come in from the west.  The problem was that the Australian Division was inexperienced, while the British Division were under strength.  Although small sections of the German trenches were captured by the 8th and 14th Australian Brigades, the attack lacked the necessary element of surprise to be effective, as it was preceded by seven hours of artillery bombardment.  German machine gunners inflicted heavy damage on the Allied troops and by 8:00am the following morning, the Battle of Fromelles was all but over, and the troops forced to withdraw.  The 5th Australian Division suffered a total of 5,533 casualties, including over 1900 deaths, while the 61st British Division suffered 1,547 casualties, to the Germans’ 1,000.


  • On this day in 1799.  The Rosetta Stone is discovered, holding the key to unlock the secrets of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics.  The Rosetta Stone is a dark grey pinkish stone of granite, although it was originally thought to have been basalt.  It was discovered on the 19th of July 1799 by French Captain Pierre-Francois Bouchard during Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaign in Egypt.  The irregularly shaped stone inscribed with ancient writing was found near the town of Rosetta, approximately 60km north of Alexandria.  The stone contained fragments of passages written in 3 different scripts, Greek, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Demotic Egyptian.  The Greek passage stated that all 3 scripts were identical in meaning.  Because Greek was well known, the stone was the key to deciphering the hieroglyphs, a language that had been considered dead to two thousand years.  25 years later, French Egyptologist Jean Francois Champollion successfully deciphered the hieroglyphics.  It was the first time that the world became aware of the depth of the history and culture of ancient Egypt.


Please feel free to add your piece of history (something personal or general history).


Soldiers of the Australian 5th Division, waiti...

Soldiers of the Australian 5th Division, waiting to attack during the Battle of Fromelles, July 19, 1916. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Pierre-François Bouchard discovered the Rosett...

Pierre-François Bouchard discovered the Rosetta Stone. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



3 Responses to “Add Your Piece of History… 19th July”

  1. gupsybees1984 July 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    About 12 years ago we built our first home made out of bamboo. As we were newlyweds and not overly rich it was lacking in some of the essentials. Essentials like a kitchen sink and counter. Took us seven years but we put one in.

    One and a half years ago we built our second home (at the other end of our yard to make moving the furniture easier). This time out of cement. (neighbourhood has changed over the years) Today only one and a half years later we start to put in our kitchen sink and counter. We are just so much more together now than then.

    And that’s our piece of history for today.

  2. midlifetraveller July 20, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    Wow, the coincidences just keep happening! I’m in Arras, France for a few days, just near Ameins and going on a WW1 battlefield tour tomorrow around the Somme, Frommelles area. Your Pop’s father fought in France in WW1, one of Nanna’s uncles and one of Grandma’s uncles died in France in WW1 – lots of connections there!

    • 09history - Emma July 20, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      Oh wow! That is so good to know, as I was researching I just wanted to learn more about it and felt connected in some way. I’m so glad you are over there on this adventure! You will have to sit us all down and pass all this history information on!

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